Dear Pilato and All,
I received your witty letter in peace for which I was very thankful. Your reiteration of our common belief in justice, peace, love, harmony and humanity brought me great encouragement. What you and I accept also is that men rule this world, and men by their very nature are infallible and short sighted.
Nelson Mandela stood for something and this is the reason he did not fall for just anything. You have been consistent in your quest for justice and the betterment of your fellow man. As I write this letter and if my memory serves me right, I have been arrested over 12 times from the time the PF came into power, so much so that, when I walk into a court room, I do not even know which case I am on trial for! Anyway, that is the nature of abused power.
As I was saying, you are consistent, you are on the side of the down trodden, the persecuted and that has not changed from the time you and I started our respective journeys. I thank you for not sympathising with me, for that is not what is required. What my co-accused and I desire is the liberation of our country, we acknowledge that indeed, a few of us have to be sacrificed in our quest for the true liberation of our beloved motherland. As GBM often says, “ichalo lifupa, wakolokota ko fye washa”. In short, we are all just passing through; no one will live on this earth forever. I however believe that our names live beyond us, and this is where a man must now question his conscience. One must ask what their purpose is; what legacy do they wish to leave behind? When Hakainde is gone, what will people say about him? Names have been known to open doors; by the same measure a name can close a door.
Tulinshimbi! All these people who are my co-accused were once herdsmen – Ba kachema! It’s only when you are subjected to this kind of treatment when the instincts of a kachema kick in. Wallace Chakawa and myself are childhood friends; we both went through the same kind of life. We faced the similar bullies as we are facing today. Bullying is nothing new to us. Living on minimums is not new to us. Sleeping in less than human conditions is not new to us. Intimidation is not new to us. We survived death as young boys from things that do not reason, animals!
Death, we do not fear, for if that is what they want, there is little we can do. However will the conscience of those who persecute us be clear as we rest in peace? We have after all survived for more than 55 years; as upright citizens because our folks and the community that raised us taught us three things; hard work, integrity and honesty. But when our values clash with those whose values are at variance with ours, this is the result: unwarranted persecution.
We shall meet again Pilato, if it’s not out there, you will find me here in Mukobeko and we shall share our light moments again, because I know you as a speaker of the truth, your conscience could easily rub the oppressors the wrong way and they throw you in jail!
For the UPND supporters and sympathisers, we shall continue talking to you from here. Nothing stops us from communicating to the world. They will throw us in jail some more if they wish but that is the fight we have embarked on. We knew as far back as 2006 when we entered the world of politics, that we shall face all sorts of things and this is just one of those things. The “freedoms” we claim to have today were a result of people that sacrificed their comfort and freedom to make Zambia what it is today. We have made a lot of progress as a country; we have had elections consistently since 1991 under a democratic system that maybe far from being perfect, nevertheless it exists. With the right leadership we can build a more solid and inclusive democracy. Countries are like families. Where there is an irresponsible Father, the family is likely to struggle. Have a responsible Father and the family will be on the right course.
Be strong colleagues, this is the final phase of our challenges, and trust us, we will be there when Zambia is free and the beacon of prosperity in Africa. For that is the true reflection of a Christian nation.
Your words Pilato put it very well, “It’s those that believe in the future that can see beyond this smoke.” Worry not dear brethren; for the bible says in Proverbs 11:8 “The righteous man is rescued from trouble, and it comes on the wicked instead.”
God bless you and our nation.